It’s Not Up to Me

Sometimes I get myself into the mindset of It’s up to me. That mindset isn’t all bad. It can get me moving when my lazy self just wants to do nothing. It can remind me of my own problem-solving skills when I want to rely on someone else to swoop down and fix whatever situation I’m in. It even helps me to make an honest choice when my all-too-easygoing attitude wants me to just shrug my shoulders.

But more often, as a pastor who is both a saint and a sinner at the same time, I need to remember that it’s not up to me.

It’s not up to me, at the end of the day, whether someone actually believes what I’m preaching to them. I can only put it out there, the Holy Spirit is the one who brings faith.

It’s not up to me to get the members of my congregation to heaven. I bring the Word — in law and gospel. I comfort them when they’re pressed down and without hope. I afflict them when they’re comfortable with their sins. I encourage them to make use of God’s gifts in Word and Sacrament. But I don’t strengthen them through these things; God does. I just get the privilege of his using me to do it.

And finally, it’s not up to me to somehow perform up to God’s standards. It’s not up to me to do everything right as a husband, father, and pastor. It’s not up to me that everything I want to do and accomplish is what actually happens. If it were up to me, I’d have failed it all miserably long, long ago.

No, those things are up to my Savior. And it’s not like I’m waiting for him to get these things done. Already from the cross he has proclaimed it to me: “It is finished.”

So when I get caught up in my to-do list, I rejoice that my life (with all my failures and shortcomings) is on Jesus’ done list.

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5 thoughts on “It’s Not Up to Me

  1. It is up to us, however, to do our very best in the situations you described. It is up to us to Contemplate ( meditate and pray for guidance), to Consecrate ( sanctify the purpose to God’s will), and then to Concentrate (focus our energy diligently). For me, this is the “3C’s rule” which I thought of one day, and have used it to guide me in doing big and small things. Even learning a new gospel song or hymn to sing and play Fingerstyle on my guitar….something I want to do. An old Baptist preacher once told me that if I want to do something important or even just learn something new, that as a child of God, I should try ” a little bit of consecration.” To me….that was advice I never forgot.

    • Thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right in that we don’t just sit and do nothing with our lives and wait for God to hand us everything. He gives us the talents and abilities we have to cultivate and use for our good and enjoyment, for the benefit of others, and to his glory. When it comes to getting to heaven, Christ has done it all for me. When it comes to my Christian life, God strengthens me in Word and sacrament to do the works he’s prepared for me to do. Thanks again!

  2. Pingback: Balance in the Work | Pastor Walters Has A Blog

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